Whether at the office or out with friends, the body language of the people around you speaks volumes. It has been suggested that body language constitutes more than 60% of what we communicate, so learning to read the nonverbal cues people send is a valuable skill. From eye behavior to the direction in which a person points his or her feet, body language reveals what a person is really thinking.
Below are valuable tips to help you learn how to read body language and better understand the people you interact with :
- Crossed legs during negotiations is usually not a good sign.
- A person who laughs with you and is receptive to your humour is very open to connecting further with you.
- Excessive blinking is usually a sign of heightened distress and discomfort.
- Similar to excessive blinking, rubbing/covering your eyes or closing them for longer than a blink means you want to block out something unpleasant.
- Biting, sucking or licking lips indicate the person trying to soothes himself or herself because he or she is uncomfortable.
- Nodding in clusters of three indicates approval and enthusiasm, if you are telling someone something.
- Generally speaking, changes in the lips indicate what a person is feeling. Upward movement means feeling happy and optimistic. Downward movement means sadness and disapproval.
- People who see themselves as leaders adopt “power poses”. Erect posture, lifted chin, palm down hand gestures and open and expansive gestures.
- Look for open postures and closed postures for general indicators.
Don’t overthink body language indicators. Usually your gut instincts are right when it comes to gauging another person’s mood/intent.